Authored by Brad Czerniak

The Mara River basin covers a surface of 13,325 km2, of which approximately 65 percent is located in Kenya and 35 percent in Tanzania. From its sources in the Mau Escarpment, the river flows for about 400 km and drains into Lake Victoria. The basin is among the most important river basins in East Africa as it traverses the world-famous Maasai Mara Serengeti ecosystem recently declared one of the new seven natural wonders of the world. Despite this global and regional significance, the river remains threatened by destruction of forest cover, unsustainable farming practices, high population growth rate and climate change. Consequently, the seasonal water quantities have changed significantly in the sense that there are now higher peaks and lows in the river flows. Floods have become more common and large parts of the Tanzanian Mara wetlands have become more permanent instead of temporary wetlands. These issues require a whole of basin approach to their management. Recognizing these threats, the project is preparing a number of investment proposals in the fields of water infrastructure, watershed management and irrigation infrastructure for subsequent funding within a consistent basin development strategy.

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